Massacre participant Joel W. White denying that he had given damaging testimony against John M. Higbee.

Oct 9, 1896
Joel W. White

Joel W. White, "To Whomsoever It May Concern," October 9, 1896, as found in Collected material concerning the Mountain Meadows Massacre, 1859-1961, MS 2674, Church History Library

Joel W. White
George Washington Adair, Jr., John M. Higbee, Joel W. White, William H. Dame, John Doyle Lee
General Public

I, Joel W. White, having been told that I had given damaging testimony against John M. Higbee, in reply will say: I have been misunderstood if that is the case; for I could say nothing and tell the truth that would harm him (John M. Higbee) in the least; but whenever Higbee’s name came up there was something I could never forget, viz: A base insult at him by “Lee.” “I will tell and swear to its truth whenever and whereever [sic] it can be used to counter [George W.] ADAIR’S LIES.” The disposition shown by the U.S. Federal Officers at Lee’s trial at Beaver to “Hang the Mormon Church” or “Hang some of its Leaders,” may have confused me; as anything said that did not accuse somebody was not wanted. If any words were construed to mean something different from what I intend I was not aware of it. I cannot remember saying anything to the detriment of John M. Higbee; but I shall always remember the insult thrown at Higbee by Lee! I think others can be found who heard what I refer to, without going over all the History, which for the sake of the living as well as the dead should be corrected and if possible forgotten. There were some merciful men that volunteered to go out there and bury the dead; for John D. Lee had seen an express from the ”Mountain Meadows” to Cedar City stating that he Indians had killed all the Emigrant Company, and asked for volunteers to come and help bury the dead. I was one of the Company of Volunteers who went on that humane errant. When we reached the “Meadows” the Indians were still fighting the Emigrants. About this time Lee got an express from Colonel W.H. Dame telling him to treat with the Indians in some way to let the Emigrants to and [let] the Natives take part of the stock and go to their homes. In addition to the above statement I hereby certify that I have carefully read the affidavits of Wm. Tate and Daniel S. Macfarlane (which are herewith attached) and I solemnly swear that to my best knowledge and belief they are true in every detail.

BHR Staff Commentary

MMM participant Joel W. White denying that he had given damaging testimony against his commanding officer, John M. Higbee

Citations in Mormonr Qnas
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